Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor response in neuroblastoma is highly correlated with ALK mutation status, ALK mRNA and protein levels.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In pediatric neuroblastoma (NBL), high anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) levels appear to be correlated with an unfavorable prognosis, regardless of ALK mutation status. This suggests a therapeutic role for ALK inhibitors in NBL patients. We examined the correlation between levels of ALK, phosphorylated ALK (pALK) and downstream signaling proteins and response to ALK inhibition in a large panel of both ALK mutated and wild type (WT) NBL cell lines. METHODS: We measured protein levels by western blot and ALK inhibitor sensitivity (TAE684) by viability assays in 19 NBL cell lines of which 6 had a point mutation and 4 an amplification of the ALK gene. RESULTS: ALK 220 kDa (p?=?0.01) and ALK 140 kDa (p?=?0.03) protein levels were higher in ALK mutant than WT cell lines. Response to ALK inhibition was significantly correlated with ALK protein levels (p?
Project description:High anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) protein levels may be correlated with an unfavorable prognosis in neuroblastoma (NBL) patients, regardless of ALK mutation status. We therefore examined the correlation between levels of ALK, phosphorylated ALK (pALK) and downstream signaling proteins and response to ALK inhibition in a large panel of both ALK mutated (MUT) and wild type (WT) NBL cell lines. Six of the nineteen NBL cell lines had a point mutation and four an amplification of the ALK gene. ALK amplified cell lines showed similar ALK levels and ALK inhibitor sensitivity as WT cell lines and were therefore co-analyzed. The ALK mRNA (p=0.043), ALK 220 kDa (p=0.009) and ALK 140 kDa (p=0.025) protein levels were higher in ALK mutant (n=6) than WT cell lines (n=13). ALK mRNA and protein levels significantly correlated with ERK1 and ERK2 protein levels, and also with PHOX2B mRNA levels, a neural differentiation marker which is mutated in NBL. Response to ALK inhibitor TAE684 was also significantly correlated with ALK levels. ALK mutant cell lines (n=4) demonstrated a higher sensitivity towards ALK inhibitor TAE684 (14.9 fold more sensitive, p=0.004) than eight WT cell lines. These results underline the importance of ALK mutations but also ALK levels for response to ALK inhibitors in NBL cell lines. Furthermore, the strong correlation of PHOX2B and ALK suggests that neural differentiation stage may be correlated with ALK levels in neuroblastoma. These data will enhance understanding of ALK inhibitor response in future patient trials. To study differentially expressed genes in the neuroblastoma cell lines described in the protein analysis study above, 15 cell lines and 2 derivative cell lines were used.
Project description:High anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) protein levels may be correlated with an unfavorable prognosis in neuroblastoma (NBL) patients, regardless of ALK mutation status. We therefore examined the correlation between levels of ALK, phosphorylated ALK (pALK) and downstream signaling proteins and response to ALK inhibition in a large panel of both ALK mutated (MUT) and wild type (WT) NBL cell lines. Six of the nineteen NBL cell lines had a point mutation and four an amplification of the ALK gene. ALK amplified cell lines showed similar ALK levels and ALK inhibitor sensitivity as WT cell lines and were therefore co-analyzed. The ALK mRNA (p=0.043), ALK 220 kDa (p=0.009) and ALK 140 kDa (p=0.025) protein levels were higher in ALK mutant (n=6) than WT cell lines (n=13). ALK mRNA and protein levels significantly correlated with ERK1 and ERK2 protein levels, and also with PHOX2B mRNA levels, a neural differentiation marker which is mutated in NBL. Response to ALK inhibitor TAE684 was also significantly correlated with ALK levels. ALK mutant cell lines (n=4) demonstrated a higher sensitivity towards ALK inhibitor TAE684 (14.9 fold more sensitive, p=0.004) than eight WT cell lines. These results underline the importance of ALK mutations but also ALK levels for response to ALK inhibitors in NBL cell lines. Furthermore, the strong correlation of PHOX2B and ALK suggests that neural differentiation stage may be correlated with ALK levels in neuroblastoma. These data will enhance understanding of ALK inhibitor response in future patient trials. Overall design: To study differentially expressed genes in the neuroblastoma cell lines described in the protein analysis study above, 15 cell lines and 2 derivative cell lines were used.
Project description:The EML4-ALK fusion gene has been detected in approximately 7% of Japanese non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). We determined the frequency of EML4-ALK in Caucasian NSCLC and in NSCLC cell lines. We also determined whether TAE684, a specific ALK kinase inhibitor, would inhibit the growth of EML4-ALK-containing cell lines in vitro and in vivo.We screened 305 primary NSCLC [both U.S. (n = 138) and Korean (n = 167) patients] and 83 NSCLC cell lines using reverse transcription-PCR and by exon array analyses. We evaluated the efficacy of TAE684 against NSCLC cell lines in vitro and in vivo.We detected four different variants, including two novel variants, of EML4-ALK using reverse transcription-PCR in 8 of 305 tumors (3%) and 3 of 83 (3.6%) NSCLC cell lines. All EML4-ALK-containing tumors and cell lines were adenocarcinomas. EML4-ALK was detected more frequently in NSCLC patients who were never or light (<10 pack-years) cigarette smokers compared with current/former smokers (6% versus 1%; P = 0.049). TAE684 inhibited the growth of one of three (H3122) EML4-ALK-containing cell lines in vitro and in vivo, inhibited Akt phosphorylation, and caused apoptosis. In another EML4-ALK cell line, DFCI032, TAE684 was ineffective due to coactivation of epidermal growth factor receptor and ERBB2. The combination of TAE684 and CL-387,785 (epidermal growth factor receptor/ERBB2 kinase inhibitor) inhibited growth and Akt phosphorylation and led to apoptosis in the DFCI032 cell line.EML4-ALK is found in the minority of NSCLC. ALK kinase inhibitors alone or in combination may nevertheless be clinically effective treatments for NSCLC patients whose tumors contain EML4-ALK.
Project description:Constitutive overexpression and activation of NPM-ALK fusion protein [t(2:5)(p23;q35)] is a key oncogenic event that drives the survival and proliferation of anaplastic large-cell lymphomas (ALCLs). We have identified a highly potent and selective small-molecule ALK inhibitor, NVP-TAE684, which blocked the growth of ALCL-derived and ALK-dependent cell lines with IC(50) values between 2 and 10 nM. NVP-TAE684 treatment resulted in a rapid and sustained inhibition of phosphorylation of NPM-ALK and its downstream effectors and subsequent induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. In vivo, NVP-TAE684 suppressed lymphomagenesis in two independent models of ALK-positive ALCL and induced regression of established Karpas-299 lymphomas. NVP-TAE684 also induced down-regulation of CD30 expression, suggesting that CD30 may be used as a biomarker of therapeutic NPM-ALK kinase activity inhibition.
Project description:Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), including crizotinib, are effective treatments in preclinical models and in cancer patients with ALK-translocated cancers. However, their efficacy will ultimately be limited by the development of acquired drug resistance. Here we report two mechanisms of ALK TKI resistance identified from a crizotinib-treated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patient and in a cell line generated from the resistant tumor (DFCI076) as well as from studying a resistant version of the ALK TKI (TAE684)-sensitive H3122 cell line. The crizotinib-resistant DFCI076 cell line harbored a unique L1152R ALK secondary mutation and was also resistant to the structurally unrelated ALK TKI TAE684. Although the DFCI076 cell line was still partially dependent on ALK for survival, it also contained concurrent coactivation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling. In contrast, the TAE684-resistant (TR3) H3122 cell line did not contain an ALK secondary mutation but instead harbored coactivation of EGFR signaling. Dual inhibition of both ALK and EGFR was the most effective therapeutic strategy for the DFCI076 and H3122 TR3 cell lines. We further identified a subset (3/50; 6%) of treatment naive NSCLC patients with ALK rearrangements that also had concurrent EGFR activating mutations. Our studies identify resistance mechanisms to ALK TKIs mediated by both ALK and by a bypass signaling pathway mediated by EGFR. These mechanisms can occur independently, or in the same cancer, suggesting that the combination of both ALK and EGFR inhibitors may represent an effective therapy for these subsets of NSCLC patients.
Project description:Neuroblastoma is an aggressive childhood malignancy of the sympathetic nervous system. Despite multi-modal therapy, survival of high-risk patients remains disappointingly low, underscoring the need for novel treatment strategies. The discovery of ALK activating mutations opened the way to precision treatment in a subset of these patients. Previously, we investigated the transcriptional effects of pharmacological ALK inhibition on neuroblastoma cell lines, six hours after TAE684 administration, resulting in the 77-gene ALK signature, which was shown to gradually decrease from 120 minutes after TAE684 treatment, to gain deeper insight into the molecular effects of oncogenic ALK signaling.Here, we further dissected the transcriptional dynamic profiles of neuroblastoma cells upon TAE684 treatment in a detailed timeframe of ten minutes up to six hours after inhibition, in order to identify additional early targets for combination treatment.We observed an unexpected initial upregulation of positively regulated MYCN target genes following subsequent downregulation of overall MYCN activity. In addition, we identified adrenomedullin (ADM), previously shown to be implicated in sunitinib resistance, as the earliest response gene upon ALK inhibition.We describe the early and late effects of ALK inhibitor TAE684 treatment on the neuroblastoma transcriptome. The observed unexpected upregulation of ADM warrants further investigation in relation to putative ALK resistance in neuroblastoma patients currently undergoing ALK inhibitor treatment.
Project description:ALK+ anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is usually a disease of young patients. We investigated phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway-associated factors in pediatric cases and cell lines.Patient materials consisted of tissue slides of ALK+/CD30+ ALCL from 33 patients treated on Pediatric Oncology Group protocols (9219, n = 8 and 9315, n = 25). Slides were examined by immunohistochemistry for phospho(p)-Akt and PTEN, the primary feedback regulator of the pathway, as well as for p27kip1 and stathmin-1. ALCL cell lines SUDHL-1 and Karpas-299 were examined for ALK, pALK, pAkt, p27/Kip1, PTEN, pPTEN, CD30, pSTAT3, and pSTAT5; ALK inhibition was performed using compound PF-2341066 and PTEN genes were sequenced.A majority of patients expressed pAkt, PTEN, and stathmin, with p27kip1 levels less than controls. Cell lines showed expression of ALK, pALK, pSTAT3, pSTAT5, CD30, pAkt, PTEN, and pPTEN, with p27 slightly less than positive controls, and germline PTEN DNA. There was evidence of phosphorylated PTEN (pPTEN) associated with inhibited function. Pharmacologic inhibition of activated ALK diminished pSTAT3, pSTAT5, and CD30 expression but not pAkt or pPTEN in cultured cell lines.We conclude that the PI3K/Akt pathway is activated in many, though not all, pediatric ALK+ ALCL. Our data suggest that activation of this pathway involves post-translational regulation of PTEN. Pharmacologic inhibition of activated ALK does not reduce modest levels of activated Akt as it does with the more abundant levels of activated STAT3 or STAT5. Future therapy of ALCL might, in selected patients, best combine agents inhibiting PI3K/Akt with those targeting ALK.
Project description:The echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK) fusion gene resulting from an inversion within chromosome 2p occurs in approximately 5% of non-small cell lung cancer and is mutually exclusive with Ras and EGFR mutations. In this study, we have used a potent and selective ALK small molecule inhibitor, NPV-TAE684, to assess the oncogenic role of EML4-ALK in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We show here that TAE684 inhibits proliferation and induces cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and tumor regression in two NSCLC models that harbor EML4-ALK fusions. TAE684 inhibits EML4-ALK activation and its downstream signaling including ERK, AKT, and STAT3. We used microarray analysis to carry out targeted pathway studies of gene expression changes in H2228 NSCLC xenograft model after TAE684 treatment and identified a gene signature of EML4-ALK inhibition. The gene signature represents 1210 known human genes, and the top biologic processes represented by these genes are cell cycle, DNA synthesis, cell proliferation, and cell death. We also compared the effect of TAE684 with PF2341066, a c-Met and ALK small molecule inhibitor currently in clinical trial in cancers harboring ALK fusions, and demonstrated that TAE684 is a much more potent inhibitor of EML4-ALK. Our data demonstrate that EML4-ALK plays an important role in the pathogenesis of a subset of NSCLC and provides insight into the mechanism of EML4-ALK inhibition by a small molecule inhibitor.
Project description:The crizotinib-resistant ALK(F1174L) mutation arises de novo in neuroblastoma (NB) and is acquired in ALK translocation-driven cancers, lending impetus to the development of novel anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors with different modes of action. The diaminopyrimidine TAE684 and its derivative ceritinib (LDK378), which are structurally distinct from crizotinib, are active against NB cells expressing ALK(F1174L). Here we demonstrate acquired resistance to TAE684 and LDK378 in ALK(F1174L)-driven human NB cells that is linked to overexpression and activation of the AXL tyrosine kinase and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). AXL phosphorylation conferred TAE684 resistance to NB cells through upregulated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling. Inhibition of AXL partly rescued TAE684 resistance, resensitizing these cells to this compound. AXL activation in resistant cells was mediated through increased expression of the active form of its ligand, GAS6, that also served to stabilize the AXL protein. Although ectopic expression of AXL and TWIST2 individually in TAE684-sensitive parental cells led to the elevated expression of mesenchymal markers and invasive capacity, only AXL overexpression induced resistance to TAE684 as well. TAE684-resistant cells showed greater sensitivity to HSP90 inhibition than did their parental counterparts, with downregulation of AXL and AXL-mediated ERK signaling. Our studies indicate that aberrant AXL signaling and development of an EMT phenotype underlie resistance of ALK(F1174L)-driven NB cells to TAE684 and its derivatives. We suggest that the combination of ALK and AXL or HSP90 inhibitors be considered to delay the emergence of such resistance.
Project description:ALK positive diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) are a distinct lymphoma subtype associated with a poor outcome. Most of them feature a t(2;17) encoding a clathrin (CLTC)-ALK fusion protein. The contribution of deregulated ALK-activity in the pathogenesis and maintenance of these DLBCLs is not yet known. We established and characterized the first CLTC-ALK positive DLBCL cell line (LM1). LM1 formed tumors in NOD-SCID mice. The selective ALK inhibitor NVP-TAE684 inhibited growth of LM1 cells in vitro at nanomolar concentrations. NVP-TAE684 repressed ALK-activated signalling pathways and induced apoptosis of LM1 DLBCL cells. Inhibition of ALK-activity resulted in sustained tumor regression in the xenotransplant tumor model. These data indicate a role of CLTC-ALK in the maintenance of the malignant phenotype thereby providing a rationale therapeutic target for these otherwise refractory tumors.